Instructor Bio

Irfan completed his BSc in Physics and Astrophysics at the University of Cape Town in 2016. His primary motivation was an intense curiosity about the mysteries of the universe. While this curiosity is still there, he began to gravitate towards applied physics towards the end of his degree. The energy sciences in particular grabbed his attention, as much because of their impact on everyday life as the complex challenges the field provides. He traded the laid-back ease of Cape Town for the hustle and bustle of city life in Johannesburg to complete an honours degree in Physics at the University of Witwatersrand (2017). His honours project was on an experimental design of a new thermophotovoltaic system, a system which utilises waste heat to increase the efficiency of traditional photovoltaic (solar cell) systems. In 2018 he completed an MSc in Physics with distinction at Wits on supercapacitors as energy storage devices.

He is currently pursuing a PhD in Condensed Matter Physics at the University of Oxford, where he works in the Advanced Functional Materials Group researching organic solar cells. He is working to broaden the understanding of the fundamental challenges of the energy conversion mechanisms in organic solar cells to improve their efficiency to make them more commercially viable. His primary aim is to enable better energy security through cheaper and more accessible technologies, thereby addressing one of the foundational challenges of development on the African continent. Irfan strongly believes that Africa has a unique prospect to be a world leader in the energy sciences due to its rich mineral resources for sustainable technologies and its ideal climate for renewable energy. In his future career, he aims to play a direct role in advancing African science as a means for inclusive development.

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